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May 18/1999

To: Mr. Lloyd Axworthy
Minister For Foreign Affairs
135 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
FAX # (613) 947-4442

Dear Mr. Axworthy
The Lebanese Human Rights Federation is again appealing to you, as a pioneer advocate for human Rights and a solid defender for human dignity and freedoms all over the world.

On the 13th of May, a Lebanese family of five members was murdered in South Lebanon near the city of Jezzine, including an eighteen-month old child. A roadside bomb was detonated and exploded in a civilian car killing all its five passengers. The murdered family was on its way to buy a christening outfit for their 18-month old son. The roadside explosion occurred on what has been known, "the road of death" because this same road has been taking the lives of innocent civilian Jezzini residents almost every week.

The Jezzini civilian residents have been exposed to an ongoing massacre by Hezbollah guerrillas and other terrorist organizations supported by Syria and Iran for the last ten years. The majority of the victims are civilians including children and elderly. The Jezzinis are exposed to roadside bombs, artillery shelling, kidnapping, and many other means of murder and persecution. It is worth mentioning in this context that only five thousand of the Jezzinis are still living in the city while its original population exceeds fifty thousands.

The region of Jezzine is outside the Israeli security zone, It is under the control of the South Lebanon Army (S.L.A) lead by General Antoine Lahad. General Lahad has said many times that his army is willing to withdraw from Jezzine and hand it over to the Lebanese regime. His last offer was made on September 19, 1998, but the Lebanese regime in Beirut, that is fully under the Syrian control has constantly rejected the offers declining from taking any responsibilities. The regime insist as dictated by Syria that Israel must withdraw simultaneously from South Lebanon and the Golan Heights. The Jezzini residents as well as the residents of South Lebanon are the victims of a merciless and bloody game of power struggle between Israel and Syria. Syria is supporting all acts of terrorism in South Lebanon in a bid to maintain its occupational status to the rest of the country.

The Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights Federation appeals to the Canadian government and to you personally, in your capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs to help the residents of South Lebanese in particular and the Lebanese people in general to live again in peace and reclaim their independence, sovereignty and freedom. We call on the Canadian government to utilize its international influence and net of connections in the following measures:

1-Deploying UN peace keeping forces in the city of Jezzine to secure a peaceful withdrawal of the S L A troops until the Lebanese army is able and willing to take over.

2-Implementing the UN resolutions # 525 and 520 that call for the respect of Lebanon's territorial sovereignty, international borders and for the withdrawal of all foreign troops.

3-Helping in a free Lebanese democratic election under international supervision and monitoring and in the formation of a national government representing all the Lebanese.

4- supporting the Human Rights international organizations and UN efforts by pressuring the Syrian regime to release hundreds of innocent Lebanese citizens detained arbitrarily in its jails without trials.

5- Pressure the Lebanese regime to release all those detained for religious and political reasons and respect the human rights of the Lebanese people.

Yours truly
Edmond El-Chidiac
Media Committee Chairman